On Thursday, edtech startup BYJU’s confirmed a whooping amount of $50 million (INR 332 Crore) funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Sequoia Capital, Sofina Lightspeed Ventures and Times Internet Ltd (TIL). The amount would be used for company’s international expansion. Earlier this year, in March, the startup completed its first round of funding collecting a total of $75 million from Sequoia Capital and Sofina.
“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative supports innovative models of learning wherever they are around the world. Byju’s represents an opportunity to help even more students develop a love for learning and unlock their potential.” Says Vivian Wu, the appointed board member by CZI.
Founded by Byju Raveendran, 35, in 2015, BYJU’s is a learning app that uses original content, video lessons and fun activities to make learning a fun for the students. Currently, there are five-and-a-half million users of the app, with more than quarter-a-million paid users. Since its inception, the company is registering 15 percent monthly growth. Every month, around 25,000 new paid members join the app. In June 2016, the startup generated Rs. 30 crores in revenue.
“We are excited to partner with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to usher in the next stage of growth at Byju’s. Our vision closely aligns with their vision of advancing human potential and promoting equality.” Says Byju Raveendran, the founder and CEO of BYJU’s.
BYJU’s provides an interactive e-learning platform for students of Class IV to XII, CAT, IAS, Banking Exams, GRE and GMAT. With a team of over 900 people constantly searching for new content and preparing lessons, BYJU’s has already become the largest edtech company in India and is strongly moving towards securing the world-leader position.
Travelling through the App:
The app has become so popular that chances are high of finding it on your App Store’s home page recommendations. If not, start typing the name and as you type “b”, you will see it in top-5 recommendations. Download and install the 14mb app.
When you open the app, you see a screen asking you to register. It asks you to select your course and basic details about you. Provide your name and phone number, and you get a confirmation code sent on your mobile number which is automatically filled in the field and verified (if you are using the mobile numbers on same phone).
Inside the app is a huge library of text books, tests, quizzes and videos. “Every second educational app provides all this – so what’s the difference”, you may ask. But trust me, you won’t see formulas and figures dancing like this in any other app. The interface is highly interactive, with everything is reachable with a tap or two. Attractive videos make it easy to learn and real-time quizzes makes it easy to evaluate your scale.
Face behind the Grace:
Byju Raveendran, a 35-years old mechanical engineer from Azhikode in Kerala’s Kannur District is the man who matters. Born and raised in a lower-middle class family, Raveendran had to face all issues that every kid of India does. He had to struggle hard for his studies and he had no mentor to guide him while choosing his career path. The family pressure and no-guidance took him to engineering despite of having strong interact in Applied Mathematics.
After completing his graduation, Byju started his IT job which involved staying out for months. In 2003, during his vacations, some of his friends preparing for CAT approached him to seek help in studies. His friends did well, motivating him to choose teaching as his new career path. After a couple of years, Byju quit his IT job and returned to Bangalore and started his coaching center.
Praveen Prakash, a CAT aspirant who tried and failed five times to crack this prestigious exam, heard about a teacher who does wonders. Praveen approached Byju for coaching and cracked the exam this time. However, instead of going for MBA, Praveen joined Byju and together they placed the foundation to Byju’s. in early days, Byju used to travel to nine cities in a week to deliver the coaching. However, with words spread and more and more students joined, they had to find an alternative.
They started recording their lessons and deliver them online. This is probably the first time when they found online learning a better option, reaching thousands of students without travelling to other locations. However, by then, CAT and Medical Exams were the only thing they were focusing on. But when realized that most of the students are not even well-prepared in their foundation, Byju decided to cover other classes as well, and they included in their course from class 4 to 12.
Next step was entering the App world, which was accomplished in 2015 when they launched Byju’s Learning App. People took it seriously, making over 25,000 enrollments in very first month. Presently, there are more than 5.5 million users on the app with over 2,50,000 paid users.
Video Credit: YourStoryTV
* BYJU’s become the first Asian company to get funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
* This is the biggest funding for any edtech startup in India.
Apparently, the huge success of Byju’s is a clear indication that Ed-tech is the next big thing. If you have an idea which may change the lives of millions, take the first step now. Education and Tutoring App is the thing which may convert your idea into a profitable business.